October 2, 2012
Miami, FL—This was our first time holding the Gracias Choir Christmas Cantata in Miami, FL, which also happens to be 80% Hispanic. IYF was able to reserve the Miramar Cultural Center for the Christmas Cantata, which is a concert hall that seats approximately 800 people. Our promotion was dynamic and expansive given a relatively small team: broadcast stations, churches, colleges, consulates, and various organizations across the city. We even paid visits to rehab centers. Even though the Miami church is small in number, various missionaries, regional church brethren, and Good News Corps volunteers came together, formed groups, and promoted Christmas Cantata throughout Miami.
We split up into teams by city region and began visiting homes and handing out Cantata fliers. But, the extreme weather posed a great challenge for our witnessing efforts. Miami is extremely hot and it often rains, which obviously slows us down while we go door-to-door. Despite the physical hardship, God helped us overcome this difficulty and allowed many first-time volunteers to get interested in helping us promote.
Several Hispanic churches opened their doors to us and we were given the opportunity to announce Gracias Choir Christmas Cantata to a pastoral meeting through a few specific congregation members. We even preached to this large, 200-person gathering. Personally, it was so thankful and gratifying to have witnessed that. One pastor in particular connected us to a radio station that eventually hosted us on their weekly live on-air program where we not only promoted the Cantata to all their listeners, but delivered our testimonies, too. We also placed our radio ads with other stations, too, and later discovered that many of the attendees heard about us through this particular medium.
Before the Christmas Cantata, we were very worried about our financial situation but through listening to the Word, realized that God does not work according to the amount of money, but according to His will. From this sermon, I gained the heart that God had everything already prepared for us.
At about 5 PM on the day of the Christmas Cantata, people began to take their seats. A sudden downpour occurred around 6 PM when the consuls, pastors, and their family members were making their way in. We saw so many people running in from the rain with wet umbrellas in hand. Not 20 minutes after Act 1 of the Cantata had begun, the entire hall was filled. Hundreds of people who arrived late were forced to sit outside the hall and watch the Cantata on screen instead. At the end of it, almost 1000 Miami citizens came to see the Christmas Cantata. We could see it was God who had brought all these people together.
Gracias Choir gave us so much joy through their beautiful music depicting the birth of Jesus Christ, which moved everyone. Pastor Yeongkook Park preached the Word to the attentive audience members and we even held a pastoral meeting after the event. Each pastor took a deep interest in IYF and Gracias Choir, and expressed their desires to collaborate with us in the near future.
It was so obvious that God wanted to work in a big way in the city of Miami. Although we may be weak, God covers those weaknesses and gives us His word to keep in our hearts. Through the 2012 Gracias Choir Christmas Cantata in Miami, there is now a growing hope that a Hispanic church will soon be established.
Good News Corps volunteer to the U.S.
More from the 2012 Gracias Choir Christmas Cantata Tour later.
Next stop: New Orleans, Louisiana.